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Friendship Baptist Church pastor Michael Combs Jr. showcases the church's renovated sanctuary. Photo by Katie Ward

Friendship Baptist Church pastor Michael Combs Jr. invites the community to check out the church's $50,000 renovation to the sanctuary, foyer, sound room and rest rooms.

"I've envisioned fixing up the sanctuary for eight years," said Combs. "We added 100 seats to the capacity."

He said the sanctuary design showcases new carpet, 275 new chairs and 42 matching choir chairs.

"The new foyer used to be the front porch," he said. "We added 18 feet to the sanctuary, so the length is about 118 feet and about 50 feet wide. We wanted to expand what we had instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new building."

He said pillars in front of the church were moved inside in the back of the sanctuary.

"The pillars were part of the old church," said Combs. "Some people served as the pillars of the church keeping it going when attendance was just 15 people."

Combs said in his eight years at Friendship, the congregation grew from 15 to 165 attendees. The choir grew from five to 42.

He said the new sound room and additional lighting enhance the worship experience created by musicians playing the bass guitar, drums, lead guitar, piano and organ.

"We just put a portable building out back for our teen church Sundays at 6 p.m.," said Combs. "We've got 12 young people here that have accepted the call to preach. They are in training at the church."

Church member Rose Murphy said Friendship Baptist Church has completely transformed.

"God has blessed us and we want to be a blessing to other people," said Murphy. "It's amazing what God does in this church."

Combs said he accepted the call to preach in 1995 at age 23. He is finishing his bachelor's degree through Rock of Ages Baptist Bible College. His first 14 years in the work field were spent at Shaw Industries in Ringgold.

"My heart is in the church," said Combs. "I want to devote my time to counseling and visiting people."

• Friendship Baptist Church at 7226 Moses Road in Hixson can be reached at 842-0982.